Flight Inquiry

Presentation

Process

  • Gather and group questions
  • For all questions in each group
    • Find the answer (see resources listed below)
    • Explain the answer on video
  • Piece the video fragments together
  • Present the video to the class. Video will be available your parents and teachers only.

Questions

  1. History
    • Did some planes crash? Did people fall out of the plane?
    • Who flew the first airplane? What was hard? How did they invent it?
    • What was the first airplane in a World War? What was the first Boeing plane?
  2. Lift
    • What keeps an airplane in the air? Why do planes fly?
    • What shape is a wing?
    • Do all planes have engines?
  3. Stability
    • Why do some paper airplanes fly longer than others?
    • Do airplanes need a tail?
    • How can I make a paper airplane fly longer?
  4. Wait, I have more questions!
    • How big is a Boeing 747?
    • What is the fattest plane? What is the longest plane?
    • Why are some people afraid of height but not of airplanes?

Resources

1. History Did some planes crash? Did people fall out of the plane? Who flew the first airplane? What was hard? How did they invent it? What was the first airplane in a World War? What was the first Boeing plane? 2. Lift What keeps an airplane in the air? Why do planes fly?
  • Balance of forces
    • Web page “Dynamics of flight” (NASA)
    • Video ” All about flight” (Schlessinger Media, Physical Science)
    • Wright Brothers reenactment, “The Four Forces” (NASA)
  • Gravity pulls the plane down
    • Animation “Gravity” (BrainPop)
    • Video “All about forces & gravity” (Schlessinger Media, Physical Science)
    • Wright Brothers reenactment “Weight” (NASA)
  • Lift pulls the plane up
    • See what happens when you change the wing using an airfoil simulator (or advanced) (NASA)
    • Wright Brothers reenactment “Lift” (NASA)
    • Animation “Flight” (BrainPOP, subscription required)
What shape is a wing?
  • See simulator; Google
Do all planes have engines?
  • Google
3. Stability Why do some paper airplanes fly longer than others? How can I make it fly longer? Do airplanes need a tail.
  • Three axis
    • Roll (lateral)
    • Pitch (longitudinal)
    • Yaw (directional)
  • Static stability, see Acrobat document “Flight stability” and “Stability and flight control” (Glenn Fisher)
    • Roll
      • Low Center of Gravity, see Web page “Keel Effect” (Peter Kunzmann)
      • Angle the wings angle slightly up, see Web page “Dihedral” (Peter Kunzmann)
    • Pitch
      • Nose heavy (Centre of Gravity in front of Pressure Center), see Wright reenactment “Center of Gravity” (NASA)
      • Elevator (horizontal tail).
    • Yaw
      • Vertical tail
How can I make a paper airplane fly longer?
  • There is no pilot to control position; design must be inherently stable
  • Examples of stable paper airplanes
4. Wait, I have more questions! How big is a Boeing 747?
  • Google is your friend
What is the fattest plane?
  • Google is your friend
Why are some people afraid of height but not of airplanes?
  • Interview teachers

More references

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. — Albert Einstein